On Cancer, Chemotherapy and Curls: What Cancer Taught Me About Loving My Hair

When I was one I was blessed with curly hair and despite several short haircuts and the occasional use of straighteners I’ve had curly hair ever since.

cancer and curly hair

At least I did until October 2012 when the chemotherapy I was receiving following successful breast cancer surgery made most of my hair fall out.

There was one bit left on my crown that resolutely refused to fall out, but was really pulling and making my scalp feel sore, so between us my husband and I shaved it and the remaining fluff off. Thankfully I immediately felt much more comfortable.

For a couple of months I went everywhere with a hat or scarf covering my head. Occasionally I wore a wig (although that caused more comments than wearing a hat all the time, so I stopped wearing it after three outings).

I had my last dose of chemo in early January 2013 and my hair has started to grow back now.

cancer chemotherapy and curly hair

First indications suggest it’s going to be considerably more grey than before I lost it (which is fine by me). I don’t know yet whether it’s going to be curly or straight and it’s going to be some time before I need shampoo, let alone a hair cut.

I’m now more than happy to appear in public with my “action Man” hair, I think if you project a ‘happy with it’ image people seem to accept it.

My 13 year old son didn’t like looking at the bald me at first and I used to cover my head before he saw me, but he’s got used to it now.

I was surprised by how much I was affected by having no hair initially, I really felt that I somehow wasn’t ‘me’ any more. Then I realised that actually I hadn’t changed, rather circumstances had just given me an extreme haircut, so it doesn’t really bother me any more.

I will be glad when I get a decent head of hair back, it can be really cold and if I’m working outside or walking to an appointment on a cold day I often have to wear two hats to keep warm.

I’m treating my hair growing back as a bit of an adventure because I really don’t know what it’s going to do. I’m also looking forward to getting my first haircut when I’m 45!

This is a guest post written Sarah Cruickshank. Sarah is a freelance family and wellbeing writer based in North West England. Visit her website at sarahcruickshank.co.uk


One comment

  1. Pingback: On Cancer, Chemotherapy and Curls | Sarah Cruickshank

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